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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Review

A well-made interior with lots of standard features, sporty handling, and a potent array of engines are hallmarks of the used 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Its low reliability rating, however, keeps it in the middle of a competitive segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Composed ride and handling
  • Diesel model’s great fuel economy
  • Quiet, attractive cabin
  • Diesel engine’s turbo lag




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.7
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Overview

Is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a decent used luxury large SUV. The base diesel engine offers good fuel economy for the segment. The GL-Class also has a quiet interior, responsive handling, and an impressive selection of active safety features. It’s tough to recommend this SUV, however, when nearly every other vehicle in the class has a markedly better reliability score.

Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Performance and Interior

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL lineup offers four engines: a 240-horsepower, turbodiesel V6 in the GL350; a 362-horsepower, turbocharged V8 in the GL450; and a 429-horsepower, turbocharged V8 in the GL550. A seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The GL has a comfortable ride and doesn’t demonstrate much body roll through turns, which is unusual for a seven-seat SUV. Fuel economy ranges from a low of 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway with the GL550, up to 19/26 mpg city/highway with the GL350.

The GL63 AMG is a high-powered trim that comes with a 550-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. This vehicle also offers the AMG adaptive air suspension, automatic level control, and shock absorber struts with adaptive damping. The GL63’s fuel economy is a meager 13/17 mpg city/highway.

Read more about GL-Class performance »

The 3-row, seven-seat GL-Class has two front-row seats, a middle-row bench that seats three, and a somewhat cramped third row that seats two. The first two rows of seats are comfortable, but the third row is best left to children. The second row folds to make accessing the third row relatively easy. The interior is well-insulated against outside noise. The GL-Class has complete LATCH child-seat connections in the second- and third-row rear outboard seats, plus a second-row middle-seat tether anchor.

Standard features in the GL-Class include dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding third-row seats, satellite radio, a 115-volt power outlet, Bluetooth, and the COMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch screen. Available features include a navigation system, an iPod interface, a power-folding second-row seat, a rear-seat entertainment system, and an upgraded audio system. The COMAND system has clunky navigation controls and lacks a touch screen.

Read more about GL-Class interior »

Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Prices

The price of a used 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class ranges from about $33,500 for the base GL 350 BlueTEC trim to around $61,250 for the Mercedes AMG trim. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 17 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 17 professional evaluations for this 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class?

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class has a reliability score of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That’s below average for the auto industry and one of the lowest scores in the class.

See GL-Class reliability scores »

How Safe Is the GL-Class?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performed crash tests on the 2013 GL-Class.

There are a number of active safety features in the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. A 360-degree surround view camera; attention assist; collision prevention assist, which alerts the driver to an impending collision; parking assist, which can parallel park the GL-Class; and crosswind stabilization are all standard. Lane keep assist and blind spot assist are available in some models.

See GL-Class safety scores »

Is the 2013 GL-Class the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 model launched the second generation of the GL-Class. The 2014 GL-Class saw few changes, but it did gain an available split-screen dashboard display, which allows the driver and the passenger to view separate screens. The 2015 model swapped a turbocharged V6 engine for the V8 in the GL 450. An engine stop-start feature was also added to all gasoline models. In the end, it’s best to stick with the 2013 – you’ll save money without sacrificing many features.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 GL-Class »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Is Right for Me?

The 2013 GL-Class has four trims: GL350 BlueTEC, GL450, GL550, and GL63 AMG. The GL350 and GL450 have different engines but similar standard equipment lists. Each has an infotainment system, heated front seats, a heated windshield washing system with rain sensing wipers, and a fold-flat power-folding third row. The GL550 has a navigation system, cooled front seats with a massage feature, and a panoramic sunroof. The performance-oriented GL63 AMG adds adaptive cruise control and heated rear seats. Either the well-equipped GL350 or GL450 should satisfy most shoppers.

With the GL-Class’s below-average reliability, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty is expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program »

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class or 2013 Cadillac Escalade?

The 2013 Cadillac Escalade is a better cargo hauler than the GL-Class. It also has a higher reliability rating. Add in its lower total ownership costs, and the Escalade is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class or 2013 Lexus LX?

The GL-Class and the 2013 Lexus LX are both solid performers, but in different ways. If you’re seeking comfort, you’ll find more to like in the Lexus. It delivers a comfortable ride and more standard features than the Mercedes. It also earns a perfect reliability score. The GL-Class is sportier, and you can throw it hard into twisting roads. Its suspension, however, takes a toll on passenger comfort. Opt for the Lexus.

Compare the GL-Class, Escalade, and LX »

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